By Nick Smith
Normally, two people and two dogs would be more than most could handle living in a studio apartment.
But not for this family, from Volgograd in Russia, who took in a wolf cub back in May 2007.
Ivan Lebedev, a 46-year-old massage therapist and daughter Alexandra welcomed Seryi into their lives and have shared their story on what it’s like living with a two-and-a-half-year-old wolf.
Seryi was picked up when he was less than a month old, when farmers found a wolves’ lair in the Astrakhan region of the country.
Ivan jumped in to buy the cub and they have been living together ever since – and he’s even trained Seryi to turn on light switches and open windows!
Mr Lebedev said: “I think the main difficulty for me right now with handling him is the walks.
“He needs two really long walks a day and you cannot try and fool him, so no matter how tired we are we have to take him out.”
Also, being a wild animal, he also eats a huge amount of food – around 1.2kg of meat a day.
He also loves cookies as a treat.
Living with two hunting dogs already, you would think that Mr Lebedev would have some experience in how to deal with Seryi, but living with a wolf offers new challenges.
Mr Lebedev said: “Wolves are very different from dogs, where a dog will ask a wolf will demand.
But you should not let him do whatever he wants as he will feel like you are not strong enough to be a leader of the pack.
“However, most of the time he just behaves like a normal big dog would.”
Ivan says he and Alexandra are the leaders of the pack, with the other dogs on a similar level to Seryi.
However, they try to keep Seryi away from smaller dogs when he goes on walks…just in case something bad happens.
Despite the challenges, Mr Lebedev says he is happy Seryi is in his life, adding: “This wolf is a member of our family and all people who know our family love Seryi.”